If you are a woman, you have probably suffered sexual harassment. A 2018 survey found 81% of women said they had. It can happen to men too, but the survey found it was roughly half as likely, with 43% of men saying they had experienced it.
Much of the sexual harassment happens in workplaces. Most people now have a better idea of what constitutes sexual harassment. Yet, sometimes it can be hard to tell what is and is not harassment.
Sexual harassment does not require physical contact
A person does not need to touch you to sexually harass you. If they do touch you, it might even be assault. Here are some of the things that you do not have to put up with:
- Comments about your appearance: People can still give compliments, despite what some may claim. It is how they give them and what they give them about that matter.
- Unwanted advances: People are allowed to ask other people out. Yet, continuing to the point it makes someone uncomfortable is not OK.
- Sending you inappropriate messages or pictures: This has become an increasing problem thanks to smartphones with Bluetooth that make it difficult to know who sent it.
- Touching you: This can be tricky to define. For example, your boss might put his hand on everyone’s shoulders when he talks to them. That does not necessarily mean it is OK for him to do that to you.
Bumping up against you: If someone bumps into you once as they pass, it might be an accident. If it happens repeatedly, it probably is not — although that may depend on what part of your body is touched.
If you feel you have been sexually harassed at work, there are legal options available. Understanding more can help you find the best way to end it.